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The Academic Literature BHV 390: Research Methods Kimberly Porter Martin, Ph.D.

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Presentation on theme: "The Academic Literature BHV 390: Research Methods Kimberly Porter Martin, Ph.D."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Academic Literature BHV 390: Research Methods Kimberly Porter Martin, Ph.D.

2 Kinds of Literature Non-Academic References Encyclopedias Dictionaries Textbooks References Newspapers Magazines You usually may not cite these in literature reviews. Use them to locate authors the names of authors for whom you want to search in the academic literature.

3 Kinds of Literature Academic References Scholarly books Edited books/volumes Peer-reviewed journal articles Theses and Dissertations Government Documents These are the kinds of references you may cite in literature reviews

4 The Academic Literature There are three general types of academic literature: 1. Academic books Written by a single expert* author 2. Edited volumes Each chapter is written by a different expert*, with the book assembled by an expert* in the field 3. Journals Frequently published periodicals containing a group of articles that present recent research results or new theoretical presentations. * experts become experts through their participation in research in their fields

5 The Special Nature of Journal Articles Journal articles have a special role in presenting research results because: They are published at least several times a year, making scientific knowledge available in a timely fashion. They follow strict standards for submission. They require pre-publication review by peers to maintain organized skepticism. They do not pay their authors; the prestige of publishing is the reward they offer.

6 Secondary Citations Primary Citations You read Jones who gives a definition for self esteem. You give the definition and cite Jones. Secondary citations. You read Smith who gives Jones definition for self esteem. You give Jones definition and cite Smith. Secondary citations are generally unacceptable.

7 How to Begin a Systematic Literature Review 1. Choose a concept or population as a starting point. 2. Generate lists of: -The disciplines that are likely to be involved -The types of academic references most relevant -Key words and terminology to use in the search 3. Locate a wide variety of academic sources 4. Mine the sources for information and take notes

8 Mining an Academic Reference Look for Theoretical Approaches 1.Names of theories 2.Perspectives of theories 3.All possible definitions for each relevant concept including - aspects/components of each concept/definition - comparisons/contrasts between definitions 4. Assumptions 5. Predictions 6. Logical relationships used to connect any of the above

9 Mining an Academic Reference Look for How Each Concept Has Been Studied? 1. Instruments/items used to measure each concept 2. Ways in which data was collected Survey Interview Observation Participant-Observation Content Analysis Case Study

10 Mining an Academic Reference Look for Populations Studied for Each Concept 1.type of populations 2.significant demographic characteristics of populations 3.populations that have been left out in the study of each concept

11 Mining an Academic Reference Look for Results of Studies for Each Concept Descriptions of variables that are associated with each concept Populations that are affected by each concept Associations that have been demonstrated Cause and effect relationships that have been demonstrated

12 Mining an Academic Reference Look for Gaps/Problems with the Research Reliability – does the study need to be replicated to assure reliability? Validity – does the study measure what it says it measures? Are there other populations that should be studied? Are there ways in which the methodology should be improved? Do the authors make suggestions for future research?

13 Mining an Academic Reference Look for References cited in the article, book or government report that you might read to contribute to your literature review.

14 How to Read an Academic Reference Skim before reading entire document Consider your own orientation and/or project Organize material as you read by highlighting Organize material as you read by charting Evaluate as you read NOTE: You will read/review many more sources than you will be able to use in your literature review.

15 Getting the Big Picture Out of Your Literature Read and analyze all of the references you have gathered and then assign each a number. Generate a list of concepts/topics and populations that your references say may be important in understanding your topic Highlight using colors to distinguish different topics Create a matrix of variables that shows what references/articles address each one.

16 Highlighting in References Highlight theory in one color Highlight methods in another color Highlight information about each concept in a different color. Highlight information about each population in a different color Make hard copies and use highlighting pens Use the highlight function in your word processor to highlight in electronic files.

17 Chart Topics and Populations Assign each reference (book, chapter, article, etc.) a number Put the numbers of your references in the columns in a table List each relevant topic and/or population that you find in your references in the rows at the left in your table. For each topic and/or population check the columns of each reference that covers it. Each row in the table becomes a section or subsection in your paper.

18 Keeping Track of Information Topic Etc RacismXXXXXXX GenderXXX IncomeXXXXX EducationXXXX Etc.

19 Powerpoint Study Guide Critical Evaluation Academic sources Non-academic sources Books Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles Edited Volumes Masters Theses Doctoral Dissertations Primary Citations Secondary Citations Highlighting in References Charting References

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